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The watch of the richest passenger on the Titanic has been sold for a fortune at auction

The watch of the richest passenger on the Titanic has been sold for a fortune at auction

A gold watch found on the body of the Titanic's richest passenger sold for 1.175 million pounds ($2.035 million Canadian) at auction on Saturday, a record for an item linked to the famous ship, according to British auction house Henry Aldridge & Son. .

That sum, paid by an American buyer, smashes the estimate of £100,000 to £150,000 ($170,457 to $302,552 CAD) published before the sale.

This exceeds the previous record for a Titanic artifact sold at auction for £1.1 million, set by a violin in 2013, according to the auction house.

Henry Aldridge and his son

The violin case was sold on Saturday for 360,000 pounds ($622,393 Canadian) during the same watch sale.

Engraved with the initials JJA, this piece belonged to American businessman John Jacob Astor, who died at the age of 47 in the sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Reputedly one of the richest men in the world at the time, with a fortune of $87 million, which would amount to several billion today, he drowned on the ship after seeing his new wife, Madeleine, on a lifeboat.

In his final moments, he was described smoking a cigarette in the company of another passenger, American writer Jack Futrell, both of whom were among the 1,500 dead on board the Titanic.

His body was found on April 22, 1912, along with his 14-karat gold pocket watch.

“The watch was fully restored after it was returned to the family of John Jacob Astor and worn by his son, making it a unique piece of Titanic history and one of the most important pieces in the history of watchmaking related to the most famous ship in the world,” the auction house confirms.

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